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MÄRKLIN & RAILROADS : A personal view by Christian Vinaa

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Written by
Christian Vinaa - March 2016

"That's how I see it . . ."

Why keep it a secret ?

It is always fun to visit railroad museums - museum railroads - vintage railroads and other railroad / model railroad points-of-interest when you are on vacation.

I always try to sneak in a few railroad related items in our family vacation itinerary and I spend a lot of time planning this itinerary.

The internet and Google Earth / Bingmaps ➚ are a great help when planning a vacation / an itinerary.

There is one thing though that I experience all too often.

Why do companies / museums / others that have a website promoting their physical presence not specify where exactly they are located ?

Why keep it a secret ?

Geography - where is Hicksville ?

I don't think that I am geographically challenged, but I am too often forced to actually search through a website to find an address and then it just says the postal zip-code and town.

Sometimes a website hides "directions" within a sub-menu or as "contact".

Then I have to "google" the town to see where in the country / state it is located. And railroad related points-of-interest tend to be located in "Hicksville"-like locations.

In Germany you really have to know your zip-codes to try to quickly know where a location is.

In the USA they more often than not take it for granted that you already know which state it is and heaven forbid that they should reveal in which part of the state they are located.

Being service minded

So - please - dear webmasters :

Yes - you know yourself where you are located - but your visitors might come from literally all over the world.

Please include - on your main webpage - clearly visible - your location including which bigger city is nearest your location. Why not have this information as the top banner on your website ?

Your location is far more important than news about painting your caboose or a fancy picture.

E.g. : " Fostoria RailPark, 499 S Poplar St, Fostoria, Ohio - 40 miles south of Toledo."

A map is always a good idea.

You can embed Google Maps ➚ - which seems to be not 100 % free or Bing Maps ➚ - which seems to be free :

"Fostoria Railpark - Fostoria - Ohio"

Link locally - but within reason

Many railroad websites have "local" links to e.g. the local hard-ware store.

Fine - just don't fill your webpages with that kinda information. That information is usefull on your physical bulletin board where actual visitors might look for nearby places of interest.

What visitors would find usefull on your website are links to all nearby railroad-related places because visitors look at your website in the planning fase.

So explore and exchange links with all nearby railroad and model-railroad-related points-of-interest.

As a service why not include the nearest places to take railroad-related photographs or any other scenic photo-spot ?

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